About-the world this week, 23 April to 29 April 2023: gunfires and standing your ground; news broadcasters crossing a line; flight out of a fighting Sudan; India’s Naxalites blast again; and snakes in Indian politics.
In America the gunfire refuses to subside. Early this week nine people were injured after gunfire erupted at a teenagers’ party in Jasper County, Texas. The shooting took place at a private residence where some 250 Jasper High School students had gathered after their annual prom dance.
The reason known at this point of time is that some kids ganged up after prom to have a night they could remember the rest of their lives, and somehow it got twisted, a bunch of children got shot. The victims ranged in age between 15 and 19. A motive for the shooting had not yet been identified.
Just last weekend, four people were killed and 28 others were injured in a shooting at a ‘Sweet 16’ birthday party in Alabama.
Firearm incidents are now the leading cause of death for American children and teenagers, according to the United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
Meanwhile, there is a burst of another kind of fire: shootings sparked by everyday mistakes.
There was this teenage boy in Missouri who rang the wrong doorbell. He had gone to pick up his two younger brother from a friend’s house. However, he went to the wrong home. An eighty years old homeowner answered the door and promptly shot the teen in the head and arm. The boy who was hospitalised in critical condition, is now recovering at home.
Then this 20 years old woman in rural upstate New York whose boyfriend accidentally turned into the wrong driveway -while looking for a friend’s house- resulting in her being shot and killed by a man shooting from his front porch in a Wild West mode.
Firing on, about two cheerleaders in Texas whose group approached the wrong car to find a man sitting in the back seat. The girls backtracked and went back to their car, but the man in the wrong car approached them and when they rolled down the windows to maybe apologise, he shot them.
And the family in North Carolina, who were shot at after a basketball rolled into the suspect’s yard. And after children jumped-in and went to retrieve the ball.
Though believed to be the ‘rarest of the rare, wrong place, wrong time’ shootings seem more common than ever before. The trend may be due to a number of factors, such as increased distrust or a sometimes-racist fear of crime, marketing by the gun lobby, and self-defense laws in states that protect shooters. Those laws generally fall into two categories, though the way they’re used state-to-state is different. One is the ‘Castle Doctrine’ which says while someone is on their property, they can use deadly force in defense without retreating. The other includes ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws, which extend that to public places, or anywhere someone with a gun has the legal right to be.
In other America news, two of the biggest names in broadcast news were showed the door by their respective Bosses.
In February, Don Lemon of ‘CNN This Morning’ came under fire after he said former UN ambassador Nikki Haley “isn’t in her prime” to run for president. He later apologised for his misogynistic on-air remarks, but the damage had been done.
Close behind was Fox News, which announced that its prime-time host is leaving the network after 14 years. ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ was one of the most successful shows on the network, with an average nightly audience of 3.2 million viewers. Over the years, the show increasingly became a platform for former President Trump and conservative commentators. Carlson has come under fire for pushing theories that the 2020 election was stolen and for misleading viewers about the 6th January Capitol Riots.
Tucker Carlson and Don Lemon are both out of the roles they’ve held for years. The shifts in the industry — from firings to layoffs — show that media outlets appear to be facing a reckoning.
Fierce fighting continues in Sudan and countries are busy evacuating their people from the crazy war-zone.
American forces evacuated US embassy personnel from the country’s capital. India worked round the clock to herd their flock together in ‘Operation Kaveri’. And India has become something of an ‘evacuation expert’- what with many Countries approaching India for help. Say Sri Lanka.
The Naxalite issue is a stranglehold that refuses to leave India in peace. This week at least 10 personnel of the District Reserve Guards and their civilian driver were killed when Maoists detonated a powerful (Improvised Explosive Device) IED on a un-metalled road and fired on the wounded jawans near Aranpur, Dantewada District, Bastar, about 400 kilometres south of Raipur, on Wednesday.
Around 200 jawans were returning in a convoy when the blast was triggered. Police believe about 50 kilograms of explosives were used.
The IED was so powerful that it blasted a crater 12 feet deep and around 25 feet across, spanning the entire width of the village road. The vehicle was blown to smithereens and some of the rifles were bent out of shape by the shockwaves.
India’s Railway infrastructure is on an awesome track roll, the Prime Minster (PM) of India is busy snaking around the country to inaugurate the New Vande Bharat Trains. These ‘non-poisonous’ Made In India trains feature a GPS-based passenger information system, bio-vacuum toilets, and rotational seats that can be aligned in the direction of travel in the executive class, and employs a regenerative braking system. The Vande Bharat can reach a maximum speed of 180 km.
During an Election campaign in the State of Karnataka the Congress President called the PM a poisonous snake, and you could die by licking it. A longtime ago, another Congress President called the PM ‘The Merchant of Death’ during another Election campaign – the results were there for all to see. Lots of poison being thrown around this week.
More stories snaking-up in the weeks ahead. Stay away from poison stay with World Inthavaaram.